CNN’s Fortune Magazine site has a great read on the Van Winkle brand, which the article describes as being a “cult brand”. The Winkle secret is to keep volumes low, quality high, and prices rising. They are profitable at a low volume which is an unusual profile in the business. Julian Van Winkle III, grandson of the legendary Pappy whose image adorns the Van Winkle bottlings, is the current custodian of the family business, believes in the small is better model.
That’s been the downfall of a lot of bourbon producers…They just make too much of it. It loses all cachet and is not as special.
One of the Van Winkle “secrets” seems to be patience – after all, who else is selling 23 year old bourbon? Hit up the source for a great read.